The horrific water crisis in Flint, Mich. has been developing for months, and it will still be some time before the things get better. Celebrities like Cher, Aretha Franklin, and Pearl Jam have pitched in and donated water or money to the town and its victims, and the issue has even brought the sports world together in aid.
But for those who do not know the origin of this story, where citizens are afraid to use their own city’s water supply? Back in April 2014, a Flint city manager appointed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder made the decision to switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River in order to save money.
While state health officials insisted the problems were only cosmetic, further testing revealed dangerously elevated levels of lead. A public health crisis broke out, leading to a federal state of emergency being declared in the city after an alarming level of lead was found in a child’s blood supply. Lead poisoning is especially dangerous for young children and can cause them irreversible brain damage.
The problem was only made worse because of how governmental bodies handled the public pleas for help. For a year the complaints were ignored.
Recently The Environmental Protection Agency said that authorities in Michigan had failed to properly respond to an ongoing crisis involving lead-poisoned water in Flint, Mich., saying it would begin testing the city’s water and ordering an independent review of what happened.
In October 2015, Flint switched back to the Detroit water supply, but by then, their water was deemed to be too contaminated to use. For now, Flint citizens need to rely on aid for water, be it from celebrities, the National Guard, and water donations.